USD - USD Slides on Further Signs of Recovery
The Dollar slid yesterday, as the U.S. and global economy showed further signs of recovery. This was due to both the predictions for today's U.S. GDP figures, which show the U.S. economy declined at a much slower pace the in the 2nd quarter than the 1st, and global corporate earnings figures led to a jump in optimism. In turn, this helped spark a global stock rally, as investors took advantage of the fresh optimism to snap up higher-yielding currencies, such as the EUR and Australian Dollar.
The USD fell against the EUR by 75 pips to 1.4128. This comes about as Germany and the Euro-Zone released better than expected unemployment and consumer confidence figures. The USD also tumbled against the GBP, as Britain posted optimistic consumer confidence figures. The GBP/USD pair closed higher by 150 pips at the 1.6519 level. Against the Japanese Yen, the Dollar rose 0.5% to 95.35 Yen, extending gains after government data showed a drop in continuing claims, boosting optimism about the U.S. labor market.
Today, there is a reasonably strong possibility that much of the same behavior in the forex market will continue. This is likely to occur as traders continue to trade on Thursday's optimism. This may continue to drive the USD lower against its major currency [pairs. Also, it is advisable for traders to follow the following releases from the U.S. economy: Advance GDP and Employment Cost Index at 12:30 GMT and the Chicago PMI at 13:45 GMT. So if you want to make some bug money as end-of-week trading kicks in open your USD positions now.
EUR - EUR Rallies on Improved Global Economic Sentiment
The EUR was driven higher vs. the U.S Dollar yesterday by data showing an improvement in Euro-Zone economic sentiment in July, as well as an unexpected fall in German unemployment, which was seen as an encouraging sign for the region's recovery prospects. The European currency also gained more ground versus the Yen to hit session highs on Thursday as a sharp rally in stocks boosted risk appetite. The EUR rose as high as 134.86 Yen, and finished trading at 134.67 Yen.
The EUR rose dramatically against the USD to $1.4128, rebounding from a 2 week low near the $1.40 level. The Euro-Zone single currency briefly pared gains after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the EUR exchange rate looks somewhat on the strong side relative to its fundamentals. According to analysts, the EUR may pare its monthly gains against the U.S Dollar today prior to reports that will show deflation deepened in the 16-nation area, and job losses increased.
The GBP leaped against the U.S. Dollar on Thursday, after a report showed British house prices climbed in July for a 3rd month. This led the British Pound to extend its gains, hitting a 4 week high against the EUR. The Pound also gained against the EUR and USD due to a report released yesterday showing British consumer confidence at its highest level since April 2008. This was yet another sign that Britain is rising out of the recession. Analysts expect much of the gains for the EUR and GBP may continue throughout today's trading.
JPY - JPY Plummets against the Major Currencies
The Japanese Yen fell against its most traded currencies on Thursday as the leading economies published a string of optimistic figures. This led to global stocks rising for a 3rd straight week, reducing demand for the relative safety of the Japanese currency. Looking at the bigger picture; positive economic data, rising stocks and better-than- expected earnings improved risk appetite, analysts said. Additionally, the improved risk appetite means that the safe-haven currencies will weaken further.
A wave of Japanese mutual funds will be launched today, keeping the Yen soft against the U.S Dollar and higher-yielding currencies, such as the Australian Dollar. But in the near term, the rush in the launching of these funds is expected to have only a limited impact, as a rally in global stocks and commodities in the past few weeks has made fund managers cautious about immediately putting money to work, many traders believe.
Crude Oil - Oil Rebounds On Market Optimism
Crude Oil rose above $67.50 a barrel on Thursday, boosted by higher stock markets in Europe and Asia, better than expected corporate results and data suggesting the economic downturn is bottoming out. The more than 5% rally yesterday, the highest gain in more than 3 months was boosted as continuing U.S. jobless claims figures improved sentiment in the energy sector. All of this is further evidence that the leading economies may rise out of recession in the coming months.
Oil may continue to gain on increased optimism that the global economic decline will ease. The number of people collecting unemployment insurance decreased for a third week, according to the U.S. Labor Department. A U.S. report yesterday showed that Crude supplies unexpectedly climbed as demand lagged behind year-earlier levels. However, this failed to drive prices lower, as the price of Crude also soared on a extremely weak USD.
Article Source - U.S. Dollar to Go Volatile on the Release of Advance GDP Figures
Key Overnight Developments
• Japan’s Jobless Rate Higher Than Expected, Hits Highest in 6 Years
• Australian Lending Gains Least Since September 1993, Threatening Recovery
• Japanese Inflation Shrinks Most in Over Three Decades, More Losses Likely
• PMI Shows Japanese Manufacturing Expanded for the First in 17 Months
• US Dollar Retreats as Asian Stocks Rally After Sony Corp Earnings Outperform
The Euro gained 0.4% in the overnight session while the British Pound added 0.3% against the US Dollar. Both currencies advanced as the greenback came under pressure amid a rebound in risk appetite that drove Asian stock markets higher following a better-than-expected earnings report from Sony Corp., trimming demand for safety-linked assets.
Asia Session Highlights
Japan’s Consumer Price Index printed squarely in line with expectations in June, showing that annual inflation shrank at an annual pace of -1.8%, the most in at least 33 years. The Bank of Japan has reinforced expectations of negative price growth, noting that the pace of consumer price growth is likely to turn negative, reflecting the declines in the prices of petroleum products, stabilization of food prices, and overall economic weakness. Indeed, utilities and fresh food prices led declines, slipping -5.9% and -4.7% from the previous year. The operative question going forward is whether the BOJ’s aggressive monetary easing measures will make CPI’s dip into negative territory a temporary affair, or if deflation once again becomes entrenched in the world’s second-largest economy. This would substantially delay any hopes for a recovery in the near term, keeping a lid on economic activity as consumers and businesses are encouraged to wait for the best possible bargain and perpetually delay spending and investment.
Turning the labor market, Japan’s Jobless Rate jumped to 5.4% in June, the highest in 6 years, while the ratio of available jobs to seeking applications fell to 0.43, a new record low. Looking ahead, a survey of economists conducted by Bloomberg suggests the jobless rate surpassed 5% in the second quarter and will approach the 6% mark by the second half of 2010 while the Bank of Japan has said that consumption to remain weak as “the employment and income situation [is] likely to become increasingly severe”. This points to continued weakness in consumer spending as layoffs weigh on disposable incomes, a clearly on display in June’s Trade Balance and Retail Sales data. Although Nomura/JMMA Manufacturing PMI rose to 50.4 in July to mark the first time since February of last year that the sector has expanded, the improvement is unlikely to boost hiring, with industrial output gains linked to restocking of inventories rather than sustainable growth in underlying demand.
In Australia, Private Sector Credit grew at the slowest pace in nearly 16 years, adding 3.4% in the year to June. Continued contraction in lending seems to bolster the central bank’s recent assertion that the influence of changes in benchmark interest rates on bank lending rates has weakened over the past two years, suggesting monetary policy is losing potency in stimulating economic activity. A breakdown in this dynamic could prove to derail an extension of positive momentum that the Australian economy has built up in recent months of the back of generous fiscal stimulus, with growth levels retreating once again when the flow of government cash dries up.
Euro Session: What to Expect
The Euro Zone Consumer Price Index is set to show inflation fell for the second consecutive month in July, shrinking at an annual pace of -0.4%. Acute economic weakness is likely to keep prices under firm downward pressure in the months ahead. Indeed, the Euro Zone Unemployment Rate is set to rise to the highest level in over a decade at 9.7% in June, weighing on incomes and discouraging consumption, the largest contributor to GDP growth. The IMF recently forecast that the Euro Zone will stand apart from other industrialized economies in seeing GDP continue to shrink in 2010. If this dynamic sees expectations of falling prices become entrenched, the currency bloc may be facing a long-term period of stagnation as consumers and businesses are encouraged to wait for the best possible bargain and perpetually delay spending and investment.
The European Central Bank has seemingly struggled to formulate an effective policy response to the deflationary threat thus far. Jean-Claude Trichet and company have focused on banks as the vehicle through which to make money cheaper and put a floor under falling prices, promising unlimited lending to the region’s financial institutions including an unprecedented 442 billion euro in 12-month bank loans. The ECB will also implement a 60 billion bond-buying scheme. To the central bank’s credit, borrowing costs have indeed moved lower: although the ECB publicly maintains target interest rates at 1%, it has allowed the average cost of overnight lending (referred to as EONIA) to drift far below that. Indeed, borrowing in Euros has been consistently cheaper than doing so in British Pounds since late June, even though the Bank of England’s stated interest rates are substantially lower at 0.5%. However, the lower cost of credit between banks has not translated into lending, and so has offered little stimulus to the overall economy. Indeed, loans to Euro Zone businesses and households grew just 1.5% in June, the lowest since records began in 1991. Banks may be choosing to hang on to cash as a buffer against $1.1 trillion in as yet unrealized losses linked to the subprime mess, according to the IMF, as well as the fallout from looming defaults and/or devaluations among the EU’s newly-minted central European members. In any case, the door is open for traders to punish the Euro as the ECB’s inability to ensure that looser monetary conditions translate beyond the interbank market make deflation all but certain.
In Switzerland, the KOF Leading Indicator that aims to forecast GDP growth in the coming 6-9 months is expected to print at -1.45 in July, extending a rebound from the record low in April. As with most industrialized countries, the mountain nation is showing tentative signs of stabilization after the GDP shrank the most in 15 years in the first quarter. Although the metric is still in deeply in negative territory and virtually assures that the economy will suffer profound losses through 2009, the cautious moderation seen over recent months suggests that a bottom may be forming. Still, deflation remains a threat to sustainable long-term growth with consumer prices falling for four months straight since March.
Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Analyst
Article Source - Euro Zone Consumer Prices to Shrink for Second Month, Boosting Deflation Risk (Euro Open)
USD - Dollar Extends Profits against the Majors
The Dollar continues to strengthen against all the major currencies. During yesterday's session the greenback was traded near a two-week high versus the EUR. The Dollar also marked a significant uptrend against the Pound and Yen.
It seems that the main reason for the USD's appreciation yesterday came as a result of the positive Core Durable Goods Orders monthly report, as well as a statement by China that it will maintain a more loose monetary policy. Whilst the Durable Goods figures reported a drop of 2.5% in June, mainly as a result of the weak demand for new civilian aircraft and defense equipment, it seems that investors were more impressed by the 1.1% rise in the Core Orders during June.
The difference between the two reports is that the Core report measures the change in the total value of new purchases orders placed with manufacturers for durable goods, excluding transportation items. Orders for aircraft are known to be very volatile, and thus have the potential to distort the underlying trend. This is why investors tend to attribute more importance to the Core report. The positive figure marked the third consecutive month in which this report delivered signs of positive growth, driving investors to believe that the global recession is reaching its end.
As for today, the main publication from the U.S economy looks to be the weekly Unemployment Claims report at 12:30 GMT. Currently, while all the major indicators of the U.S economy are showing signs of improvement, it is only the job sector which continues to deliver negative figures. Analysts forecast that 578K individuals have filed for unemployment insurance for the first time during the past week. If the actual result will be similar, this could be the harshest unemployment figures in the last month. Such a result may help drive the demand for the safety of the USD and drive its recent bullishness even higher.
EUR - German CPI Marks First Annual Decline in 22 Years
The EUR dropped yesterday against most of the major currencies. The EUR is currently traded near a two weeks low against the Dollar, as the pair fell to the 1.40 level. The EUR also saw a sharp drop against the Pound during yesterday's session.
The EUR's slide came as a result of the unexpected negative German Preliminary Consumer Price Index (CPI) report. This indicator measures the change in the price of goods and services purchased by consumers in Germany. Considering the fact the Germany currently holds the strongest and relatively healthiest economy in the Euro-Zone, the inflation indicators from this nation have a large impact on the EUR. The indicator showed a drop of 0.1% in July.
More severely, this report has marked the first annual decline in consumer prices in Germany in more than 22 years! It appears to be the drop in energy and food costs, which took place as a result of the global recession, which created the poor annual decline in German CPI. It now seems quite certain that for any negative indicators from the German economy such as this one have the potential to weaken the EUR in the near future.
Looking ahead to today, another significant report is scheduled from the German economy. The German Unemployment Change, which measures the change in the number of unemployed people during the previous month, is expected at 07:55 GMT. Analysts have forecasted that unemployment in Germany increased by 44K in June. If the results are indeed close to this figure, the EUR might continue to depreciate against the major currencies.
JPY - Yen Slides on Poor Retail Sales Release
The Yen underwent a bearish session against most of the major currencies yesterday. The JPY dropped over 100 pips versus the Dollar, and over 200 pips against the Pound.
The Yen dropped yesterday on poor Retails Sales data. The report showed that the total value of sales at the retail level dropped by 3.0% in June, failing to reach expectations for a 2.5% drop. Furthermore, Japan's retails sales fell for a 10th month in June, making the longest losing streak since 2003. It seems that even though the Japanese economy is showing signs of recovering, mainly due to the positive export figures, the Japanese citizens are reluctant to resume last year's consumption levels, an indication that optimism may be lacking in Japan.
As for today, a batch of data is expected from the Japanese economy. Traders are advised to follow the Tokyo Core Consumer Price Index report. This report is a leading inflationary indicator for Japan, and thus tends to have a large impact on the JPY's value. If current expectations for a 1.7% drop will be similar to the real result, the Yen might continue to weaken against the major currencies in late-trading today.
Crude Oil - Will Crude Oil Drop Below $60 a Barrel?
Crude Oil prices continued to slide yesterday. Yesterday morning, a barrel of oil was valued near $66, but the current price is trading for less than $63. The main reason for the sharp cut in crude oil prices yesterday was the Crude Oil Inventories report. The report shows an unexpected surge in U.S. energy stockpiles. While analysts expected a drop of 1.1M barrels, the actual result showed that stockpiles surged by 5.1M barrels!
Most analysts had anticipated a pull-back in prices since Oil was seemingly over-bought technically and fundamentally, but the high inventories report simply put added weight to this expected downward pressure. In addition, the USD continued to strengthen yesterday. Crude Oil is valued in Dollars, and as such, tends to fall under the weight of a strong Dollar.
Looking ahead to today, traders are advised to follow the Natural Gas Storage report, scheduled at 14:30 GMT. This is more energy data that has the potential to influence oil prices by showing a continued trend of high stockpiles, indicating low demand. Traders should also consider the Dollar's movements in today's trading, as it has a large effect on commodity values.
Article Source - Crude Oil Price Crashes after Unusually High Inventory Data
Key Overnight Developments
• Japan’s Industrial Production Grows Most Since 1953 in Q3
• Euro, British Pound Flat Ahead of the Opening Bell in Europe
The Euro is effectively unchanged going into the European trading session having oscillated in a narrow 0.4% range around 1.4050 in overnight trading. Likewise, the British Pound fluctuated in a 0.4% band around 1.6380, yielding a flat result ahead of the opening bell in London.
Asia Session Highlights
Japanese Industrial Production grew at the weakest pace in three months in June, adding 2.4% from the previous month. In annual terms, the pace of decline moderated to -23.4%, the slowest rate of contraction since December of last year. On a quarterly basis, output gained 8.3% in the three months through June, the most since 1953. Much of the resurgence can be chalked up to companies replenishing inventories having sharply cut back on orders and production as the global economic crisis reached a boiling point in 2008. More of the same is likely in the coming months as restocking continues. In fact, minutes from the last meeting of the Bank of Japan revealed policymakers expect manufacturing and exports will continue to recover “mainly due to progress in adjustments in [inventories]”. That said, any sustainable rebound will have to come with growth in underlying demand, which is arguably destined to remain sluggish for some time. Indeed, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said its latest world economic outlook that global trade volumes are likely to rebound just 1% having shed a whopping -12.2% in 2009.
Euro Session: What to Expect
Germany’s Unemployment Rate is set to rise to 8.4% in July, the highest since November 2007, as the Euro Zone’s largest economy sheds 43,000 jobs. Mounting layoffs will hinder Germany’s ability to mount a robust recovery from the current downturn, weighing on disposable incomes and discouraging consumption, the largest component of overall economic growth. Indeed, the IMF recently forecast that Germany as well as the Euro area as a whole will stand apart from other industrialized economies in seeing GDP continue to shrink in 2010. Further, the ailing labor market is likely to become a more visible drag on risk appetite as the government’s fiscal package is used up and firms run out of room to cut capacity and produce upside earnings surprises, yielding to sluggish revenue growth and driving stock valuations lower. This bodes ill for the Euro, particularly against the US Dollar, with interest rates likely to remain low and risky assets on the defensive.
Separately, Euro Zone Economic Confidence is expected to rise to 75.0 in July, marking the fourth consecutive month of improvement since the metric hit a record low in March. The reading is a composite of five sub-sector sentiment reports: Industrial Confidence (40%), Service Confidence (30%), Consumer Confidence (20%), Construction Confidence (5%), and the Retail Trade Confidence Indicator (5%). The metric may continue to gain for a bit longer as the combined impact of fiscal stimulus measures across the region and higher stock prices boost confidence, but seems likely to reverse course in the medium term as lackluster domestic and overseas demand creep back into the forefront.
Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Analyst
Article Source - Euro May Extend Losses as German Jobless Rate Hits Highest in Nearly 2 Years (Euro Open)
USD - Weak Consumer Confidence Boosts the U.S Dollar
The Dollar rose from the lowest level this year against most of its major currency counterparts on revived demand for the safety of the world's main reserve currency.
The resurgence in risk aversion came after the Conference Board's U.S. Consumer Confidence Index dropped to 46.6 from 49.3 in June; a worse result than the expected 49, reinforcing concerns that higher unemployment will hurt consumer sentiment. Contributing further to the demand for the safety of the American currency were the declines in stock markets.
The market also awaits more U.S. Treasury auctions this week and the effect on yield moves. A record $42 billion two-year Treasury auction on Tuesday had little impact on the currency market, although details of the outcome were not encouraging for the dollar.
Looking ahead to today, traders should follow the release of the Core Durable Goods Orders due at 12:30 GMT. After the disappointing results of the Consumer Confidence Index and the recent weak second quarter earning results, any worse than expected result will further dampen risk appetite and likely push the Dollar further up.
EUR - EUR fails to Breach the $1.43 Level
The EUR rose above $1.43 Tuesday morning, its highest level in about 8 weeks. However, by early afternoon Tuesday it was at $1.4155, down from $1.424 late Monday. The EUR also fell 1.1% against the Yen to 134.04 from 135.48 Monday. The decline came as equities dropped and investors turned to the safety of the Japanese and American currencies.
While mostly appreciating, the EUR is having difficulties pushing past important resistance levels, failing to stay above the significant $1.43 level. This is do to milder gains on the European Stock markets combined with investor's caution ahead of the release of the U.S second quarter GDP this coming Friday and the Non Farm Employment report due next Friday.
Along with movements in equities, the release of the German Prelim CPI throughout the day is also expected to cause market volatility, possibly pushing the EUR back to the $1.43 level.
JPY - Yen Gains on Return of Risk Aversion
The Yen rose yesterday against most of its 16 major counterparts advancing versus the EUR for the first time in 4 days as a bigger than forecasted drop in U.S. Consumer Confidence this month discouraged investors from buying higher-yielding assets.
Furthermore, as the Yen is highly correlated with movements in equities, yesterday's disappointing second quarter earnings and the consequent drop in global stock markets further assisted the Yen's rise. With no major news releases from Japan, risk sentiment will likely continue being the driving force behind the JPY's movements.
Crude Oil - Crude Prices Tumble after an 11 Day Rally
Crude oil for September delivery fell $1.15, or 1.7%, to $67.23 a barrel Tuesday; hitting an intraday low of $66.60. Crude Oil tumbled as U.S Consumer Confidence fell, boosting concerns over recovery in demand. Lower than estimated second quarter earning also put pressure on Oil Prices. With a negative Oil forecast from British Petroleum (BP) and a continuing climb in U.S Oil inventories, the sentiment turned bearish on Oil prices.
Movements in equities as well as Dollar sentiment will likely be the driving force behind Oil trading today, as a strong Dollar tends to put downward pressure on Oil prices. Furthermore, traders should follow the release of the U.S Crude Oil Inventories at 14:30 GMT today as this release tends to create great volatility in Oil Prices.
Article Source - Greenback Rebounds from Earlier Lows
USD - Dollar Goes Volatile on Optimistic Homes Sales Data
The U.S. Dollar experienced an extremely volatile trading day on Monday, as the New Home Sales data was released from the U.S. economy. The result was a better-than-forecast 384,000 homes versus the previous release of 346,000 homes. This is a whopping 11% increase, the biggest monthly increase since December 2000. This led to many analysts stating that this is the end of the U.S. housing slump. The result led to volatile USD trading. Moreover, the Dollar closed lower against some of its main currency pairs, due to optimistic data from regions such as the Euro-Zone.
At one point in trading the USD actually reached a 7-week low vs. the EUR at 1.4299. This was following the extremely optimistic German consumer confidence figures. However, the pair finally closed 33 pips higher at the 1.4246 level. The USD recorded its second daily loss in a row of 30 pips against the British Pound, as the GBP/USD finished trading at the 1.6484 level. This comes about as optimistic data from Britain continues to drive up the British currency. The USD/JPY pair finished higher, to close at the 95.17 rate. This comes about as the Yen falls from higher risk appetite.
Looking ahead to today, forex traders can expect plenty of news coming out of the U.S. The most important of this being the CB Consumer Confidence figures at 14:00 GMT, the speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at 22:00 GMT, and the speech by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner from 23:00 GMT. These 3 events are set to determine the level of the Dollar as Tuesday's trading takes off. The big 3 pairs to watch today are the EUR/USD, GBP/USD, and USD/JPY, as traders anticipate a weaker U.S. currency as the U.S. economy continues to recover.
EUR - EUR Boosted by German Consumer Confidence Figures
The EUR hit a 7-week high versus the USD in Monday's trading, following the Gfk German Consumer Climate figures. The result showed a 14 month high 3.5, significantly higher than the forecasted 2.9. This helped the EUR strengthen throughout Monday's trading. The reason why this data is so significant is due to Germany being the largest economy in the Euro-Zone. The EUR also was helped as U.S. New Home Sales jumped 11%. The EUR is likely to continue benefiting from the optimistic economic news.
The EUR/USD cross hit 1.4299, before closing 33 pips higher at the 1.4246 level. However, the European currency fell by 15 pips vs. the British Pound to 0.8635. This may be due to investors buying-up Pounds as risk appetite increases with more and more signs of global economic recovery. The EUR/JPY pair climbed by over 35 pips to the 1.3532 level, as traders continued to ditch the JPY due to preferring riskier assets, such as the EUR and GBP. Therefore, overall, the EUR did make some reasonable gains in Monday's trading.
Today, we won't be expecting much economic news coming out of the Euro-Zone. However, Britain and Switzerland are likely to be the key drivers of the European currencies later today. Britain is set to release the CBI Realized Sales figures at 10:00 GMT. Switzerland is scheduled to publish the UBS Consumption Indicator at 06:00 GMT. The results of both of these are set to drive both the GBP and CHF in today's trading. Additionally, the EUR will go volatile on both of these publications, and on key data coming out of the U.S. throughout today's trading.
JPY - Yen Falls to 3-Week Low vs. Dollar
The Yen fell to a 3-week low against the Dollar yesterday, in response to the rise in new U.S. home sales. The Yen also weakened on speculation that declines in currency volatility will spur carry trades. In carry trades, investors borrow at a low rate in one country and invest in another country with higher returns. This behavior is likely to continue as the main economies improve, and traders sell-off the safe-haven JPY. Thus the Japanese currency fell over 30 pips against the USD, EUR and GBP.
It is likely that the Yen will continue to decline today, as forex traders continue to take into account the optimistic economic data that was published from the U.S. and the Euro-Zone. The JPY will go very volatile in late trading, as Japanese Retail Sales are published at 23:50 GMT. It would be a wise choice for forex traders to open their JPY positions now in order to have the opportunity to profit from volatile market behavior as Tuesday's trading commences.
Crude Oil - Crude Oil Hits 3-Week High
Crude Oil hit a 3-week high of $68.94 a barrel on Monday, as the USD declined in response to positive housing data from the U.S. However, weaker earnings figures in some instances pushed Oil down from its peak, as the commodity finished trading at about $68.06 a barrel. Crude was also helped by a weaker Dollar in earlier trading due to positive economic news from Germany. However, it seems that in this instance, risk appetite wasn't strong enough to hold-up the value of Crude Oil on Monday.
As for today, Crude prices may rise if the USD weakens considerably, and there is increasingly optimistic economic news led by the U.S. Additionally, traders need to feel that there is enough demand to support Crude Oil at its current price level. In order to take advantage of the current trends, it is advisable for forex traders to begin opening their positions in Crude Oil and other commodities prior to volatile market conditions.
Article Source - The Currency Market Keeps on Eye on U.S.-China Dialogue
Key Overnight Developments
• Australian Leading Index Fell for First in Four Months, Says Conference Board
• National Australia Bank Says Business Confidence Rose to 15-Month High in Q2
• Australian Dollar Surges as RBA’s Stevens Talks Up Economy, Hints at Rate Hikes
The Euro advanced in overnight trading, testing 1.4270 ahead of the opening bell in Europe. The British Pound followed suit, adding 0.2% against the greenback.
Asia Session Highlights
New Zealand’s Trade Balance sank into deficit in June, revealing a monthly shortfall of –NZ$417 million. In annual terms, the deficit widened to –NZ$3.2 billion. The discouraging result came as exports fell 11% from a year before, the largest annualized decline since July 2007. We had forecast the outcome in our New Zealand Dollar Weekly Outlook, noting that outbound shipments were likely to take a beating after the local currency gained nearly 1% in June after jumping 8% in the previous month, making New Zealand’s goods comparatively more expensive for overseas buyers while boosting domestic purchasing power of foreign products. The release may weigh on the currency in the days ahead as it reminds the markets of New Zealand’s credit outlook downgrade by Fitch, which cited the “persistently large current account deficit” as a reason for concern about the country’s medium-term growth outlook.
In Australia, Conference Board’s Leading Index fell for the first in four months in May, dropping -0.1%. April’s reading was also revised downward to 0.3% from the originally reported 0.7% result. The metric tracks a number of leading indicators including rural goods exports, building approvals and stock prices to gauge the short- to medium-term trajectory of the overall economy. Perhaps the most important takeaway from the report is that the sales-to-inventory ratio, the largest component of the index, fell for the sixth consecutive month to reveal companies continue to suffer from lackluster demand. This underscores an increasing disparity between market sentiment and the underlying fundamentals of the economy. Buoyant stock markets and money supply growth had catalyzed the most recent run-up in the index, a dynamic that may be repeated in the forthcoming release considering Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 benchmark equity index added 3.6% in June. However, the equity rally seems hardly sustainable if sales growth remains lifeless, robbing firms of the kind of earnings that will not disappear once cost-cutting invariably reaches its natural limits.
Separately, National Australia Bank’s measure of Business Confidence printed at -4 in the second quarter, the highest reading since the three months ending March 2008. The forward-looking component of the report points to continued improvement in overall business conditions in the third quarter, albeit at a much slower pace than this time around. Employment and orders are both expected to improve, though firms’ profitability is forecast to decline.
Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens struck a decidedly hawkish tone at a speech in Sydney, driving home the point that going forward the central bank is now actively trying to time a return to higher interest rates. Stevens said Australia is faring better through the global downturn than other developed economies, noting that “confidence has recovered ground” and boasting that “unemployment is rising slower than expected”. He went on to stress that central banks should not relax their commitment to keep inflation anchored through the recession, a clear hint that global tightening of monetary policy should now be on the table. That said, Stevens conceded that some stimulus needs to remain in place for now and conceded that the timing of unwinding expansionary policy presents a challenge. The market greeted the RBA chief’s comments, with the Australian Dollar surging 50 pips in a mere 30 minutes.
Euro Session: What to Expect
The UK CBI Distributive Trades report will offer insight on short-term trends in the retail and distribution sector. Retail Sales surged in June but the metric have exhibited extraordinary volatility since the beginning of this year so traders will be eager to look for any signs that a discernable trajectory is being established. On balance, cues from the labor market seem to point to subdued retail activity for the time being, with the jobless rate to approach 9% by the end of next year for the first time since 1994, trimming disposable incomes and weighing on spending.
In Switzerland, the UBS Consumption Indicator that aims to forecast the trend in private spending in the coming 3-4 months is likely to fall to a fresh 5-year low in June as the pace of unemployment continues to push higher, ticking up to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 3.8% in the same period for the first time since September 2005.
Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Analyst
Article Source - Australian Dollar Surges as RBA Chief Talks Up Economy, Hints at Rate Hikes (Euro Open)
USD - USD Depreciates, Consumer Confidence Growing
The steady improvement to risk appetite over the previous week has helped push the EUR/USD above 1.4200 at the start of this week's trading. While the greenback has been trading relatively flat versus the other major currencies, it is nonetheless accelerating towards intense volatility at the start of this week. The rally in global stock markets has helped convince investors to pull away from the safety of the dollar in exchange for riskier assets. In the forex market, this means a diversification towards the EUR, CAD and even AUD.
A sudden surge in the Asian stock markets at the end of last week has helped reduce demand for safe-havens like the USD and JPY, but their attraction has remained steady enough to prevent vast drops in value. Confidence may be climbing the world over, but investors may not yet be brave enough to jump whole heartedly back into riskier investments. A demand for safe-havens remains despite the boost in optimism.
Looking ahead this week, we'll complete another part of the picture for the US housing market with the New Home Sales report expected later today at 14:00 GMT. A more intricate look into American optimism will be delivered on Tuesday with the CB Consumer Confidence report, and week's end will provide traders with a look into the first portion of this year's second quarter GDP, which tends to have the most impact of the 3 reports released on this figure. These reports will no doubt put the USD at center-stage for the duration of the trading week and investors would be unwise to skip over this week's news events surrounding the US economy.
EUR - EUR Strengthens as GBP Sinks; Risk Appetite Climbing
The spectacular results from last week's PMI and German Ifo Business Climate report helped push the EUR higher against most of its currency pairs. However, the British Pound suffered heavy losses at the end of last week's trading due to worse-than-forecasted GDP results. Climbing back above the 1.42 level against the USD, and even spiking upwards of 0.8650 against the Pound Sterling, the EUR's gains were unmatched last week.
Precisely opposed to the value of the EUR, as pertaining to risk appetite, the Euro-Zone currency indeed strengthened due to the perception that its regional economy is stabilizing. This belief has helped stoke the notion that recovery is on the way by the end of this year. The subsequent return to riskier assets helps devalue safe-havens such as the Dollar, while pushing more diverse currencies, such as the EUR, higher against the other currencies.
No doubt the devaluation of the Pound also led to a boost in the value of the EUR by the sheer weight of regional competition. As the wave of risk appetite took hold last week, the GBP may not have offered investors the necessary level of security, which also helped boost the gains made by the EUR.
While economic releases from the Euro-Zone led the market last week, and also helped revive demand for the EUR, this week's trading will see no such thing. The EUR is surprisingly absent from this week's calendar as the US economy takes the wheel. If US data can encourage the recent return to risk appetite, then the EUR's rally may continue this week.
JPY - JPY Anticipating European Market Opening
The recent rise in risk appetite has helped the mild return of the Yen-denominated carry trade. With the JPY climbing modestly against most pairs, the gains seem to be muted as investors weigh the JPY as a safe-haven or carry-trade, and the balancing act has led to a series of consolidation trends in the JPY crosses.
It appears the Japanese Yen has leveled-off versus almost all of the major currencies in anticipation of a rather large impending movement. If the rally in Asian stocks continues from last week, investors may see the JPY lose value as the carry-trade returns with full force. For the time being, it appears as if traders the opening of the European markets to weigh in on positions placed at the end of last week. If expectations are correct, forex market participants could see a sharp drop in the value of the Yen in today's early trading hours.
Crude Oil - Oil Reaching $70 as Market Optimism Surges
As the US Dollar has declined over the last few trading days, the value of a barrel of Crude Oil has been appreciating. The steady climb back towards $70 a barrel has helped boost the GDP of many oil-producing Arab countries. The downside is the ever-present and growing connection between Middle Eastern economic growth and fluctuations in the price of oil, which has wrought havoc on these countries over the past few months despite efforts to diversify investment and industry.
Market optimism has helped return many investors away from the USD and into riskier assets. This helps boost the demand for commodities as a method of portfolio diversification. While the current price range of Crude Oil may not be justified by recent supply and demand levels, it nevertheless reflects the value derived by speculation of future growth. The surge in market optimism helps bring about the purchase of Crude Oil as investors anticipate industry growth world-wide. If this week's news events continue to boost this optimism, Crude Oil may easily climb above $70 in the days ahead.
Article Source - Dollar Falls as Investors Turn to Riskier Assets
Key Overnight Developments
• Bernanke Defends Fed’s Independence, Supports “Strong Dollar Policy”
• Buyers Returning to UK Housing Market, Reveals Hometrack Survey
• US Dollar Avoids Breakdown Despite Stock Rally, Bond Auction Looms Ahead
The Euro and the British Pound traded near familiar levels against the US Dollar despite a sharp rally across Asian stock exchanges that would have been expected to weigh on the safety-linked greenback. The MSCI Asia Pacific added over 1% overnight, putting in 10 consecutive days of gains for the first time since 2004. We noted last week that the majors were showing signs of diverging from risk trends following the US Treasury’s announcement of a record-setting $115 billion bond auction that stands to boost long-term interest rates and spur US Dollar demand.
Asia Session Highlights
US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke defended the central bank’s independence at the taping of a “town hall”-style meeting for PBS, saying the Fed is already “very accountable” to Congress and stressing that citizens don’t want Congress running monetary policy. On the economy, Bernanke said that credit markets are still “very constrained” and warned that employment won’t recover for “a while”, forecasting that the jobless rate will likely exceed 10%. Regardless, the Fed chief said he has “tremendous confidence” in the US economy, saying output will be “growing strong” within a few years. Answering critics that have argued policymakers’ actions would stoke future inflation, Bernanke said the Fed does not want to “over-stimulate” the economy and is “very confident” it has the tools to unwind the emergency liquidity-boosting measures put in place amid the financial crisis. Bernanke added that it was too early to judge the impact of the government’s stimulus plan, but stressed that Congress needs to come up with a plan to restore fiscal balance by trimming the burgeoning budget deficit. Commenting on currencies, Bernanke echoed the Treasury’s mantra of support for a “strong Dollar policy” and said a stronger US economy will bolster the greenback.
In the UK, the Hometrack Housing Survey revealed that real estate prices fell -7.7% in the year to July, the slowest pace of decline since October 2008. Details of the report revealed that property sellers were able to secure 91.5% of their initial asking price in the final transaction, marking the eighth consecutive month that their bargaining power has improved; meanwhile, the average time a property spent on the market before being sold fell to 9 weeks, the lowest in over a year. On balance, the survey reinforces reports of a rebound in buying interest that has been noted in other recent data. That said, rising unemployment may prove to be a barrier to a near-term rebound in real estate prices: the jobless rate is expected to top approach a whopping 9% by the end of this year, trimming incomes and hindering Britons’ ability to pay their mortgages. This is likely to boost repossessions, flooding the market with fresh supply and sending property values downward.
Euro Session: What to Expect
Germany’s GfK Consumer Confidence gauge is expected to stall at 2.9 in August after rising for two consecutive months in June and July. Last month, the market research firm commented that, “Reports that the inflation rate stood at zero percent in May are having a positive effect on income expectations and the propensity to buy.” Although falling prices stand to boost spending in the short term, entrenching expectations of deflation will work against consumption, encouraging people to wait for the best possible bargain and perpetually put off purchases. Clearly, this threatens firms’ revenues and darkens the outlook for employment, which in turn can reasonably be expected to put the brakes on any rebound in consumer sentiment. Most worryingly, the onset of deflation may already be at hand, with Germany’s Consumer Price Index set to show later this week that the annual pace of inflation turned negative for the first time in 23 years.
Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Analyst
Article Source - US Dollar Avoids Breakdown Despite Stock Rally, Bond Auction Looms Ahead (Euro Open)
Fundamental Outlook for US Dollar: Bearish
- Fundamentals support a recovery in US and global growth, but how does risk appetite factor in?
- Bernanke sees signs of stabilization, calls focus on the deficit
- Do technicals call for a dollar collapse or recovery?
It was a tenuous week; but the dollar was able to ultimately hold its own through the close. However, just because momentum behind the earnings-driven rally in risk appetite has stalled does not mean that the world’s most liquid currency has avoided a collapse all together. Sentiment winds have died down; but they can easily jostle the safe-haven dollar should another economic catalyst surface. This makes for an uncertain future when combined with the fundamental influence that the 2Q GDP report will have on the currency. Now, not only do traders have to interpret the data, they will also have to judge whether it has a greater impact on risk appetite or growth considerations for the beleaguered dollar.
Looking ahead to next week, the most immediate threat to the greenback’s stability is the intensity and direction of risk appetite. While this currency is deeply mired in speculation surrounding the economy’s leading or lagging growth potential, interest rate expectations, and deficit projections among other influences; risk appetite has proven itself to be insuperable. With the Federal Reserve vowing to keep the benchmark lending rate at levels that insure a carry status when conditions do turn around and politicians ensuring the economy will struggle with record levels of debt for years to come, there seems little doubt that the dollar will maintain its position on the opposite of risk appetite. But, considering the stalled progress most of the dollar and yen crosses saw last week; is there a strong shift in sentiment in the works? With EURUSD and GBPUSD just off of key levels of resistance, the pressure is growing. However, the primary source of momentum this past week – the second quarter earnings season – is already on the decline. If left up to the markets alone, equities have already forged new highs for the year; but commodities, fixed income and risk-sensitive currency pairs have not pushed to comparable levels. Oddly enough, one of the most likely catalysts for risk going forward also happens to be the most attention grabbing indicator on the US docket: GDP.
According to economists forecasts, the world’s largest economy contracted at a 1.5 percent on an annualized pace through the second quarter. This would be a marked improvement from the 5.5 percent and 6.3 percent rate of the recession through the first quarter of 2009 and fourth quarter 2008 respectively. This would certainly confirm policy officials expectations for a return to positive growth by the end of this year or beginning of the next; but through the near-term it is still a call for speculation to rank the economy’s performance against that of its major counterparts. China recently reported a sharp advance to a 7.9 percent pace of expansion while the UK printed a record 5.6 percent contraction. And, then there are still those economies that have yet to report their numbers. Japan suffered a record-breaking 14.2 percent slump through the first quarter, but is expected to snap back according to BoJ and Cabinet officials. The Euro Zone awaits it August 13th release, but the Bundesbank has already stated Germany saw only a ‘slight contraction’ through the second quarter. This will increasingly become a consideration of nuance.
The other facet of the US 2Q GDP release is that it will be accepted as a gauge of global growth. This further complicates the issue. Should the reading be good, the influence on risk appetite could outweigh the implications for US returns and actually drag the dollar down; and vice versa. Another important consideration is the timing of this release. Due Friday, speculators may decide to move the dollar before the data crosses the wires. If this is the case, the GDP report could factor into long-term projections but not short-term volatility.
Euro Threatened with Mounting Deflation Risk, US Bond Auction
Fundamental Forecast for Euro: Bearish
- German Producer Prices Fall Most in Over Two Decades
- Euro Zone, German PMI Results Top Expectations, Stay in Below 50
- Sentiment Points to Continued Euro Gains Against the US Dollar
The Euro looks vulnerable in the week ahead as headline inflation figures point to the increasing likelihood of deflation while a the US Treasury holds a record-setting bond auction that stands to boost the Dollar at the expense of the single currency. Germany’s Consumer Price Index is set to show the annual pace of inflation turned negative for the first time in 23 years in July after holding at a standstill in the previous two months. The broader Euro Zone measure of consumer prices has already turned negative, shedding -0.1% in June and likely to slip another -0.4% in July. If expectations of falling prices become entrenched, the currency bloc could be facing a long-term period of stagnation as consumers and businesses are encouraged to wait for the best possible bargain and perpetually delay spending and investment.
For their part, the European Central Bank has seemingly struggled to formulate an effective policy response to the deflationary threat thus far. Jean-Claude Trichet and company have focused on banks as the vehicle through which to make money cheaper and put a floor under falling prices, promising unlimited lending to the region’s financial institutions including an unprecedented 442 billion euro in 12-month bank loans. The ECB will also implement a 60 billion bond-buying scheme. To the central bank’s credit, borrowing costs have indeed moved lower: although the ECB publicly maintains target interest rates at 1%, it has allowed the average cost of overnight lending (referred to as EONIA) to drift far below that. Indeed, borrowing in Euros has been consistently cheaper than doing so in British Pounds since late June, even though the Bank of England’s stated interest rates are substantially lower at 0.5%. However, the lower cost of credit between banks has not translated into lending, and so has offered little stimulus to the overall economy. Indeed, loans to Euro Zone businesses and households grew just 1.8% in May, the lowest since records began in 1991. Banks may be choosing to hang on to cash as a buffer against $1.1 trillion in as yet unrealized losses linked to the subprime mess, according to the IMF, as well as the fallout from looming defaults and/or devaluations among the EU’s newly-minted central European members. In any case, the door is open for traders to punish the Euro as the ECB’s inability to ensure that looser monetary conditions translate beyond the interbank market make deflation all but certain.
An unprecedented bond auction in the United States may also weigh on the single currency. The US Treasury’s announced last week that it will sell a record $115 billion in bonds next week in a bid to help finance the rapidly growing public deficit, pushing 10-year notes to register the largest daily loss in nearly seven weeks and sending yields to the highest level in a month. We have argued for some time that the US Dollar will benefit as the government floods the market with new debt: Treasury prices will head sharply lower, putting tremendous upward pressure on the long-term interest rates. This will make USD-denominated assets attractive to yield-seeking investors, driving demand for the greenback. Because the Euro is the second-most traded currency after the greenback, it often serves as the de-facto anti-Dollar, with short term studies showing a hefty -85.8% correlation between average indexes of the two units’ values. This means that any meaningful turn in sentiment in favor of the US Dollar will weigh heavily on the Euro, not just in the pairing against the greenback but across the board.
Japanese Yen Looks for the Next Engine for Risk Appetite
Fundamental Forecast for Japanese Yen: Neutral
- Earnings season draws to a close; but where does that leave risk appetite?
- Japan’s trade balance improves as both imports and exports plunge
- Yen crosses don’t offer a clear cut technical outlook
Direction from the Japanese yen is often the product of risk appetite; and the fundamental outlook for next week doesn’t suggest this essential correlation will break any time soon. However, this connection may actually complicate the future for speculators rather than make it more straightforward. The primary source of what has essentially been a market-wide advance in risk appetite these past two weeks seems to have petered out. Earnings releases are in decline and there are very few individual releases on the docket that can initiate a global shift in sentiment on its own. Among other potential catalysts – like growth speculation – there are many contingencies and shades of gray that could make the yen a very difficult currency to trade going forward.
First and foremost, the market will have to reconcile its predilection for earnings data. Ever since Goldman Sachs reported record profits through the second quarter (a strong sign considering it is a financial firm, struggling with a global recession and it had just repaid a rescue loan from the US government), market participants have been putting their sidelined funds back into the capital markets to make a competitive return. However, through the end of this past week, we have seen upside surprises diminish and the notoriety of those companies names attached to the earnings reports recede. Looking back on the week four Fed ‘Stress Tested’ banks report losses and many more blue chips missed forecasts. Looking ahead, there are very few major reports due; but more importantly, there are far fewer days when a group of notable earnings releases will be reported at the same time (and therefore can generate enough influence to catalyze risk appetite. One of the last opportunities for a earnings related swell is on Thursday when ExxonMobile, MetLife, Walt Disney, Dow Chemical, Travelers and Colgate are scheduled to release.
If we are to see the market move away from earnings, where should we expected the market’s drive to come from? Sentiment can be a catalyst of its own. Left to their own devices, speculators are capable of reviving and breaking major trends. Equities across the world were able to capitalize the rise in optimism over the past two weeks and record new highs for the year. If the market decides that this has turned the tides for yields and investment flows, the rest of the markets may look to play catch up and in turn leverage risk appetite in the process. There may also some fundamental factors choosing a rise or fall in sentiment. There are many growth-related indicators on the docket to feed the outlook for the world’s recovery; but it is Friday’s US GDP figure that will truly establish the progress of the global economy. The consensus calls for a significant moderation of the nation’s contraction. However, whether we receive a positive or negative surprise (or no surprise at all), that is a long time to wait when market conditions seem to require an immediate resolution.
British Pound May Find Support On Improving Housing Market
Fundamental Outlook for British Pound: Neutral
- U.K. GDP contracted by 5.6% annually, which was the most since records began in 1955
- U.K. Retail Sales rose more than expected by 1.2%, Led by a 4.7% increase in textiles
- BoE voted 9-0 to keep rates and QE measures unchanged
The British pound ended a week of choppy price action heading lower as the 2Q GDP preliminary reading showed a deeper than expected contraction of 0.8% against expectations of 0.3%. Economic growth on the year dropped by a 5.6% which was the most since record keeping began in 1955. The growth figures raise concerns that the BoE would need to add to their quantitative easing efforts in order to ensure an economic recovery. The release of the MPC’s minutes from the July meeting showed that after considering additional measures the committee unanimously voted to stand pat but would review their alternatives again in August when they release their quarterly inflation report. A 1.2% increase in retail sales spurred hope that domestic consumption would start to improve as non-food sales rose 1.6% pointing to an increase in discretionary spending. However, elevated unemployment levels and the service sector declining by 1.0% in the second quarter will make future growth challenging.
Although the drop in growth is alarming, the improving outlook for the global economy which was evident in the massive rally in equities during the week could keep the MPC on hold. Bank of England Deputy Governor Charles Bean said this week that the economy may have stopped shrinking which could signal the potential for an improvement in the central bank’s growth estimates when they release their latest report on August 12. The growth numbers and the corresponding inflation outlook will determine the future course of action.
The economic calendar this week will give us further insight into the U.K. housing market and prevailing credit conditions. The Nationwide Building Society is expected to show that house prices rose 0.2% in July as thawing credit markets are underlining demand. Indeed, mortgage approvals are forecasted to rise to 47,000 from 43,400 in June which would be the highest since April, 2008 but still far below the ten year average of 97,000. The BoE lending report mortgage lending was showing sign of improving but that credit for consumers and businesses remains a challenge. The GBP/USD has been trading at the top of its recent range of 1.6000-1.6700 which could leave it susceptible to a move lower. However, we have seen solid near-term support from the 20-Day SMA at 1.6371, which is starting to converge with the 50-Day SMA at 1.6260- a level that has held since March.
Written by John Kicklighter, Ilya Spivak, John Rivera and David Song, Currency Analysts
Article Source - Forex Trading Weekly Forecast - 07.27.09
Key Overnight Developments
• US Dollar Supported as Stocks Surge with Treasury Sales to Boost Yields
• Euro, British Pound Consolidate at Familiar Levels in Overnight Trading
The Euro traded sideways in Asian hours, oscillating in a narrow 30-pip range below 1.4170. The British Pound tried higher to test above 1.65 but prices retreated late into the session, yielding an effectively flat result ahead of the opening bell in Europe.
Asia Session Highlights
With no major market-moving data on the economic calendar, forex market consolidated near familiar levels in overnight trading hours. Interestingly, prices seemed to look past a sharp rally on Asian stock exchanges, a dynamic that over recent months has meant losses for the safety-linked US Dollar. A similar divergence was on display in New York hours, with the currencies shying away from breaking key levels even as risk appetite continued swell. The greenback may be seeing support as traders react to the US Treasury’s announcement that they will sell a record $115 billion in bonds next week. Treasuries declined as the news crossed the wires, with 10-year notes posting the largest daily loss in nearly seven weeks, sending yields to the highest level in a month. We have argued for some time that the US Dollar will benefit as the government issues debt to finance the rapidly growing public deficit: Treasury prices will head sharply lower as the market is flooded with new supply, putting tremendous upward pressure on the long-term interest rates. This will make USD-denominated assets attractive to yield-seeking investors, driving demand for the greenback.
Euro Session: What to Expect
Germany’s IFO Survey of business sentiment is expected to rise for the seventh consecutive month in July, pointing to continued improvement in firms’ 6-month economic outlook. Still, the reading is expected at 90.1, a print below the 100 “boom-bust” threshold, suggesting conditions are still deteriorating but at a slower pace. The Euro Zone Purchasing Manager Index is set follow a similar a similar trajectory, printing at 43.5 in July to show that the manufacturing sector shrank for the 14th consecutive month, albeit at the slowest rate since the metric hit a record low in February. Some recovery is to be expected as an array of fiscal packages from governments across the currency bloc filter into the broad economy, but the big question in the Euro area as well as most anywhere at this stage is whether growth is sustainable after stimulus cash dries up. As it stands, the latest economic forecast from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reveals that the Euro Zone will stand apart from other industrialized economies in seeing economic growth continue to contract in 2010, pointing to a comparatively slower return to higher interest rates that will keep the Euro on the defensive against most major currencies.
In the UK, Gross Domestic Product is set to shrink -0.3% in the second quarter, a far smaller decline than the -2.4% lost in the three months through March and the smallest drop in a year. London-based think tank NIESR has forecast the moderation, saying “the U.K. economy is now stagnating rather than continuing to contract at a sharp pace.” Minutes from the last meeting of the Bank of England echoed the optimistic outlook, with policymakers saying risks to GDP have probably diminished and speculating that the economy may shrink less than was previously expected. Not everyone is as sanguine, however: the British Chamber of Commerce urged the BOE to add 25 billion pounds to their asset-buying scheme, saying a recovery is “not guaranteed”, a sentiment that has been echoed by the Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (a group of independent economists that meet at the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs). This makes today’s report critical to shaping the market’s expectations of future of monetary policy: traders will likely be less sensitive to a print in line with or better than what is expected, as this would only reinforce themes that have already been priced into the exchange rage; conversely, a disappointing outcome could weigh heavily on sterling as traders readjust their exposure to reflect a likely expansion of quantitative easing.
Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Analyst
Article Source - US Dollar Supported as Stocks Surge with Treasury Sales to Boost Yields (Euro Open)
USD - Dollar Rallies vs. Yen on Economic Recovery Hopes
The U.S. Existing Home sales notched a 3rd monthly rise in June, and prices hit their highest since October. This fueled hopes the housing sector is finally on the mend, and many analysts hope this will help propel a broader economic recovery. According to analysts, the data suggests that the U.S housing sector is beginning to stabilize. This is a necessary component for a more meaningful U.S. recovery, and hence a stronger USD in the long term.
The U.S. Dollar soared against the Japanese Yen yesterday, due to the U.S. housing data. The USD rose 1.2% to as high as 95.30 vs. the JPY on Thursday. However, the pair finished trading at the 94.63 level. Against the EUR, the Dollar traded near a 7 week low at $1.4292, the weakest level since June 3. The pair finished trading much lower at the 1.4162 level. This was despite the greenback falling in early trading as the U.S. stock-index futures advanced on speculation that the worst of the recession may be over, prompting investors to purchase higher-yielding assets.
A number of analysts cautioned that the rally in risk sentiment on Thursday could be short-lived, as sentiment remains fragile and markets are probably quite near to seeing risk aversion returning to the forefront. This will be clearer to forex traders today, as 3 vital economic events are set to take pace in the U.S. These include the Revised UoM Consumer Sentiment at 13:55 GMT, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony at 14:30 GMT and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's speech on the economy also at 14:30 GMT.
EUR - EUR Hits 7 Week High Against the U.S Dollar
The European currency made gains against the U.S Dollar in early trading after data on U.S. jobless claims in the latest week came broadly in line with expectations. However, this was short lived, as the U.S. housing data was very optimistic, resulting in the pair closing far lower at the 1.4162 level. The EUR also fell against the GBP to the 0.8589 level as confidence returned to the British currency. However, the EUR/JPY pair was unchanged as demand for the safe-haven JPY fell yesterday.
The British Pound traded near the highest level this month against the USD, as advances in retail sales and mortgage approvals prompted speculation the recession in Britain is abating. In turn, this leads economists to the conclusion leading to speculation that the Bank of England (BOE) will increase its Interest Rate. The Bank of England reduced the main Interest Rate to a record low 0.5% in March. The Sterling also gained for a 2nd day against the EUR and the Yen as a government report showed Retail Sales increased last month at 4 times the pace forecast by economists.
There is much data coming out of Britain and the Euro-Zone today that is expected to determine the GBP and EUR crosses, as this week's trading comes to a close. From Britain, the Prelim GDP and Index of services figures are set to be published at 08:30 GMT. From the Euro-Zone, the German Ifo Business Climate and Flash Manufacturing PMI are set to be released at 08:00 GMT. Forex traders are also advised to follow U.S. economic news too, as the market is set to be very volatile throughout the day.
JPY - Yen Loses Ground Amid Economic Recovery Hopes
The Japanese currency fell against the U.S Dollar and the GBP on Thursday, paring losses made the previous day. The JPY hit its lowest level in more than 2 weeks against the Dollar on Thursday, and a 3 week low against the EUR as traders in Asia sold Yen in anticipation of outflows from Japanese investors. The Yen also dropped versus the Swedish Krona and Norwegian Krone yesterday as Japanese financial companies prepared to raise at least 700 billion Yen ($7.42 billion) for funds that will be invested globally.
Much of The Japanese currency's decline came about after the Finance Ministry said the contraction in the nation's exports slowed to 35.7% in June from a year earlier. Japan's trade data however provided hard evidence that the global economy is now on the mend, analysts stated. As the risk sentiment improves on the back of receding wariness about the prospects of the global economy, the Yen may weaken further against higher-yielding currencies.
Crude Oil - Crude Oil Eyes $67 a Barrel
The Crude Oil prices rose above $66 a barrel Thursday, ending at the highest level in 3 weeks at the $66.88 level. This came about as U.S. home sales data lifted stock markets and raised hopes for an economic recovery. Oil advanced 2.7% after the National Association of Realtors said home resales increased in June for a 3rd consecutive month.
Crude has risen in 6 of the recent 7 trading sessions. The rally came even after U.S petroleum data continued to show weak demand and rising inventories. Crude Oil and other commodities have tracked equity markets in recent months as analysts seek signs of a better economic outlook after the downturn cut world energy demand for the first time in a quarter of a century.
Article Source - Dollar Trading To Be Dominated By Bernanke and Geithner Testimony
USD - Dollar Outlook Remains Weak
The USD continued its decline against the EUR, as well as other risk sensitive currencies on Wednesday. However, the overall direction of the market was subdued due to unsteady equity markets. While the Dollar sentiment is bearish, the EUR seems unable to really take off. On Wednesday, the Dollar index was at 78.745, down from 78.920 on Tuesday
Strong performances from the stock markets continue to put downward pressure on the Dollar, as investors move to riskier higher yielding assets. Furthermore, the Dollar outlook suffers from concerns over U.S monetary policy. With growing uncertainty about the framework of the monetary and fiscal policies, particularly in light of the proposed health care reform, the outlook on the Dollar looks very weak despite the Fed's and Treasury's assurances.
Looking ahead to today, several important news releases are expected from the U.S, including the Unemployment Claims at 12:30 GMT and the Existing Home Sales at 14:00 GMT. These indicators are very important since they are leading indicators of economic health and tend to create great market volatility.
EUR - EUR Rises on Weaker Dollar
The EUR experienced a moderate rise against the Dollar and Yen yesterday. Late Wednesday, the EUR was at $1.4211 from $1.4197 late Tuesday and at ¥132.96 from ¥133.01. The Pound depreciated 0.3% to 153.92 Yen, and traded at 86.41 pence versus the EUR. The British Pound also appreciated slightly versus the Dollar, trading at $1.6463 from $1.6436.
The Pound's drop against the EUR came after the National Institute of Economic and Social Research stated that home values will resume their decline. The institute also predicted Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will shrink by 0.4% in the second quarter, slightly worse the 0.3% expected by economists. Also putting downward pressure on the Pound were losses in equities throughout the trading day.
While no major news releases are expected from the Euro-Zone today, traders should follow the release of British Retail Sales that is due at 8:30 GMT. As this is a leading indicator of economic activity, it is likely to cause great volatility for the GBP pairs.
Yen - Yen Benefits from Stock Market Losses
The Yen gained for a fourth day against the Dollar, and for a second day against the EUR yesterday following a larger than expected second-quarter loss by Morgan Stanley, as well as a statement by Wells Fargo & Co. stating that bad loans jumped. The Yen traded at 132.87 per EUR from 133.18 and at 93.56 versus the Dollar from 93.68 yesterday.
With reports from CIT Group Inc. and American Express Co., risk aversion today will likely stay prominent as the expectation is for weak earnings announcements. As the Yen is highly sensitive to moves in the equity markets, any negative earnings reports will revive risk aversion among investors and push them toward the safety of the Japanese currency. The Yen may also rise today ahead of the U.S Unemployment Claims report which is expected to show an increase in claims.
Crude Oil - Oil Prices Slide on Disappointing Inventories Report
Crude Oil for September delivery settled down 21 cents, or 0.3%, at $65.40 a barrel Wednesday, snapping a five-day rally following the release of slightly worse than expected U.S Oil inventories. However, losses were limited due to a weak Dollar and equity gains.
With inventories remaining high and OPEC members not sticking to quotas, there is still too much supply and not enough demand. While rising equity markets and a weak Dollar continue to push Oil prices up, the fundamentals are still weak and do not supports another rally to the $70 price level. Furthermore, any negative news from the stock market, or signs of a faltering economic recovery might send Oil back to the $60 level.
Article Source - Global Stock Rally Dominates USD Trading
Key Overnight Developments
• Japanese Trade Surplus Grows as Imports Continue to Tumble
• Euro, British Pound Little Changed Despite Overnight Stock Gains
The Euro tested below 1.42 and rebounded as high as 1.4243 but stands little changed ahead of the opening bell in Europe. The British Pound followed a similar dynamic, oscillating around the 1.6470 level.
Asia Session Highlights
Japan’s Merchandise Trade Balance surplus expanded for the third consecutive month, rising to 508 billion yen in June from 298.2 billion in May. We argued the likelihood of such an outcome in our Japanese Yen weekly forecast, noting that the abysmal job market will surely continue to weigh on imports. Indeed, inbound shipments tumbled -41.9% from a year before while exports shed -35.7%. More of the same is likely in the months ahead as unemployment continues to push higher: a survey of economists conducted by Bloomberg suggests the jobless rate surpassed 5% in the second quarter and will approach the 6% mark by the second half of 2010 while minutes from the last meeting of the Bank of Japan revealed policymakers expect consumption to remain weak as “the employment and income situation [is] likely to become increasingly severe”.
Euro Session: What to Expect
UK Retail Sales are set to swing back into positive territory in June, growing at an annualized rate of 2.1% after shrinking -1.6% in the year to May, the most in 17 years. A rebound in retail spending seems to bolster expectations from NIESR, a closely watched London-based think thank, that forecast the economy probably shrank just -0.4% in the second quarter, the smallest drop in a year. NIESR has argued that “the U.K. economy is now stagnating rather than continuing to contract at a sharp pace.” Notably, the apparent signs of stabilization may not translate into meaningful gains for the British Pound. Retail sales figures have exhibited extraordinary volatility since the beginning of this year: annualized receipts grew 2.6% in January, dropped -1.5% in February, then gained 0.9% and 2.7% in the following two months before plunging again in May. This suggests traders will be wary of taking even a sharp improvement at face value, waiting for a discernable trend to be established. Cues from the labor market seem to point to subdued retail activity for the time being, with the jobless rate to approach 9% by the end of next year for the first time since 1994, trimming disposable incomes and weighing on spending.
Separately, BBA Loans for House Purchases will probably continue to rebound in June, extending a move higher that began after the metric set a record low in November 2008. The metric closely tracks the GfK measure of consumer confidence; indeed, indeed, 24-month rolling studies show the two are 96.6% correlated. Consumer confidence rose to a 14-month high in June, suggesting the BBA report will follow.
On balance, risk trends are likely to remain as the primary driver of forex price action. A number of notable earnings releases are on tap in European hours: ABB Ltd, the world’s largest maker of electricity grids, and Cie. de Saint-Gobain SA, Europe’s top supplier of construction materials, are set to report that profits fell by a staggering 42% and 83% respectively in the second quarter. Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s largest bank by market value, may help support shares in the Financials sector with expectations calling for the second consecutive quarter of profits driven by trading revenue.
Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Analyst
Article Source - British Pound to Look Past Retail Sales, Home Loans Data to Trade on Risk Appetite (Euro Open)
What is Forex?
The foreign exchange market (Currency, Forex, or FX) is where currency trading takes place. It is where banks and other official institutions facilitate the buying and selling of foreign currencies. Forex transactions typically involve one party purchasing a quantity of one currency in exchange for paying a quantity of another. The foreign exchange market that we see today started evolving during the 1970s when world over countries gradually switched to floating exchange rate from their erstwhile exchange rate regime, which remained fixed as per the Bretton Woods system till 1971.
Today, the Forex market is one of the largest and most liquid financial markets in the world, and includes trading between large banks, central banks, currency speculators, corporations, governments, and other institutions. The average daily volume in the global foreign exchange and related markets is continuously growing. Traditional daily turnover was reported to be over US$3.2 trillion in April 2007 by the Bank for International Settlements. Since then, the market has continued to grow. According to Euromoney's annual Forex Poll, volumes grew a further 41% between 2007 and 2008.
Forex used to be a closed market because only the “big boys” because you needed between 10 and 50 million $ to open an account. But today, with the development of internet, online Forex brokers have the possibility to offer their services to “little” traders. All you need to start is a computer, fast internet connection and information which you can find on this page also.
This enormous market is like the dangerous sea where you can meet lots of sharks and dangerous waters but at the same time it is the only one where two weeks of trading can hypothetically bring you $1,000,000 out of $1,000 of initial investment.
This is certainly hypothetically because a lot of newbie traders deal with their trades as gambling, that surely bring them to having nothing in the end. You should always keep the phrase "be careful!" in your mind. This market would give you its profit possibilities only if you learn the basic things hard and make lots of demo trading.
The statistics is that as much as 95% of traders come to losing their money at Forex, 5% have profit and less than 1% of traders make large fortune at Forex. You shouldn't produce, sell or advertise anything trading at Forex. Your assets are your knowledge, experience and a small amount of cash.
This market is a platform for banks, transnational corporations and individual traders to change the currencies they possess into other ones. This is the spot Forex market. At this market you can trade with up to 1:400 leverage which means that you'll get $400 on your account for each dollar invested. So, you can trade with the $400,000 sum having invested $1,000 onto your account.
Why to trade on Forex?
1. There is no commission fee for trading at Forex.
2. There is no intermediary, you can trade directly at Forex.
3. Forex is open 24-hours a day.
4. Nobody can influence the market for a longer period.
5. High liquidity.
6. Free demo accounts, analysis and charts.
7. Small accounts that allow everyone to try out his luck.
Hope this has answered a lot of questions you were asking yourself about Forex and that you can now start trading. Also make sure that you check out other articles on this blog which can help you earn your fortune.
Good luck to everyone!